And the reason I tell you this story is that if you really look at history, you'll find examples where liberty has transformed regions that were warlike, where a lot of people died, into regions of peace. And that's going to happen again, so long as we have faith in that fundamental principle; so long as we don't lose our confidence in certain values -- that are not American values, but they're universal values.Well, this is a bold prediction from a man who believed there were WMD in a place there wasn't. Do you believe them? Can liberty serve as such a "transformative agent" in Iraq and other places where people don't value liberty as a principle?
I believe the most important priority of our government is to protect the American people from further harm. And you just need to be reassured, and so do your constituents, that a lot of good people are spending every hour of every day doing just that. But I would remind you, in the long run, the best way for your children and grandchildren to be able to say that when given a tough task, this generation didn't flinch, and had certain faith -- had faith in certain values -- is that we stay strong when it comes to liberty as a transformative agent to bring the peace we want.
Certainly, the Taliban are not standing for liberty, and have not over history. Our values are not their values, and the combination of historical factors that drove WWII, Japan, and even our revolution are not remotely the same as in the Middle East.
Do you think that the brand of "liberty" foisted upon a people (say Iraq) will truly be the antidote to terrorism and extremism that W suggests? Certainly, W's democracy experiment has already cost us an incalculable amount in terms of dollars (real and accrued debt) and dead/wounded GIs. The costs only go up from here.
It reminds me of the recent advertising campaign by MasterCard...you know the one. For the W, Rove and Co it might go like this:
- Kevlar Body Armor for one trooper - 600 dollars (if you buy 'em).
- Humvee with no armor (remember, you go to war with the Army you have, not the one you wish you had)- ~100K.
- Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier GHWBush - 4.5 Billion...
- The Price of Security for America and Liberty in the Middle East...Priceless.